West Kelowna  

All hands on deck: mayor

Peachland was hit hard by the storm Thursday, tearing up Highway 97 by Antlers Beach and pulling a large section of bladder dam into the lake.

A retaining wall made of large concrete blocks to protect the highway from waves at Antlers Beach was knocked down, as the ground underneath it eroded away.

The highway was reduced to single-lane, alternating traffic Thursday afternoon, as water crashed onto the road, breaking off parts of it, but it has now been fully reopened.

“Our maintenance contractor, Argo, is on site and will be placing additional armouring and barriers at this location,” the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in an email. “Motorists could experience delays this evening, as the ministry may need to reduce traffic to a single lane in either direction to accommodate additional work at the site.”

In addition to the erosion damage at Antlers Beach, Peachland's Beach Avenue also faced damage when a large section of bladder dam was pulled into the lake.

“They were just setting it up yesterday when the winds kicked up and it failed, unfortunately,” said Mayor Cindy Fortin. “It takes a few days to set up ... but the winds and the waves just sucked it into the lake.”

Crews hope to lay 1.7 kilometres of dam south from 13th Avenue.

“It's a pretty ambitious length, but we felt we really need to protect the foreshore,” Fortin said. “We do have quite a bit of erosion along Beach Avenue.”

The River Forecast Centre says there is less than 30 per cent of the snowpack left in the Mission Creek watershed, and with cooler temperatures in the forecast, their focus is on future wind and rain events.

“We've got all hands on deck, so to speak, dealing with the flooding,” Fortin said. “We haven't got to looking at the actual costs yet, we're just all really busy dealing with the flooding.”

While some sections of Beach Avenue are closed north of 13th Avenue, Fortin says Peachland is still very much “open for business.”

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